Death of EPC worker investigated

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia - Ah Tong 29 March 2019, 12:00AM

The 21-year-old employee of the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) who died on duty this week allegedly slipped.  

Tevita Amituana’i of Vaitele-uta died on Wednesday following an incident when he was working on an electric pole. 

The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, said an investigation is looking into the circumstances surrounding his death.

But from the reports he has been given, the Minister said they suspect the deceased had slipped and hung from the harness. 

“He had all his safety gears on for his security,” Papali’i told the Samoa Observer. 

“But what I have been told is he was the only one up the electric pole. What happened was that he is suspected to have slipped and then he grasped on to something but must have touched a high voltage hire.”

Papali’i said the worker had a harness and it appears all the safety requirements were fulfilled.

“It is unclear if there was a supervisor with him at the time because young workers should be supervised when they are out at work,” he said. “But we will know that once the investigation from E.P.C. is completed.” 

The family of Tevita was contacted on Wednesday at 3:30pm that he was at the hospital. 

Little did they know that the 21-year-old was at the morgue instead. His 88-year-old grandmother, Fetu Amituanai said they did not expect to find her grandson at the morgue. 

 “This is very hard for us because we did not expect to see him on his death bed,” she said. 

“If he was sick at the hospital it would have been okay but to hear about his passing without a goodbye is heartbreaking.”

Tevita had recently graduated from the National University of Samoa before he started work with E.P.C. last year. 

His grandmother remembered her grandson as a quiet and church going man. 

The grandmother said Tevita had the option of becoming a teacher or an electrician. 

He chose to be the electrician and began his career with E.P.C. in July. 

“I warned him because I knew how hard that line of work is and the nature of the job. I warned him that it’s hard and can lead to accidents but now he is gone without a goodbye.”

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia - Ah Tong 29 March 2019, 12:00AM

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